Search Results for: endorsement

Small Business Association / NFIB endorsement

Received this letter today and will continue to help promote a vibrant business community in our state. I welcome the other endorsements that have previously lent their support.

SC Chamber of Commerce Endorsement

Found this on Twitter today. It’s good to receive endorsements from various groups across the state; but the one that matters most is yours right here in Irmo and Chapin!

NRA endorsement

As someone who recently took up hunting (5 years ago), I’m happy to share another endorsement of my campaign . Like I’ve mentioned before, receiving endorsements are good and they give voters a sense about each candidate; but at the end of the day it’s the endorsement of the community that matters most!

SC Citizens for Life endorsement

With the General Election on the horizon, endorsements are starting to come in. As I shared last election, the endorsement that matters most is from you – the voters. For those new to the area, I will share these as they come in over the next few weeks.

I’m not sure endorsements make or break elections; but they definitely don’t hurt and when they come from various groups it can provide some insight that voters may not know.

Our last election (Republican Primary), we won a three way race with no runoff after receiving 70% of the vote.

The election before that (Republican Primary), we beat a sitting Richland County Council incumbent and received 84% of the vote.

This general election will be Tuesday, November 3rd and I am hopeful my hard work and representation for the Irmo/Chapin/Dutch Fork community continues to show how I focus on People, Not Politics . I’d be honored to have your support again!

Endorsements

The ultimate endorsement comes from you, the voters/the community; but I’m pleased to share these recent endorsements of our campaign and my work for South Carolina! Please vote tomorrow, June 12th!

2008 Primaries: Did endorsements matter?

Does everyone really want to be like Mike?

Anyone over 20 knows “Air Jordan” and at that time, it was one of the largest endorsement deals ever. But now that the primaries are over, I keep asking myself the question I’ve asked since I ran for office four years ago: Do Endorsements matter in local politics?

During my first campaign (2004), I had no “endorsements” except those from my neighbors, church, civic clubs, etc. Obviously I was HOPING the “big name” endorsements wouldn’t matter.

We saw our opposition bring out mail piece after mail piece with the names of incumbent legislators, statewide office holders, sheriffs, and Washington politicians (we later learned some of those might not have been “real endorsements” but, heck, who knows the difference nowadays?). Obviously, we came out ahead in that race and it began to sink in….does the community-voter care who’s supporting who? Could it actually backfire on the candidate touting all the “politicians” support? Or, did it even matter at all?

I don’t have time to analyze all the endorsements, etc but tonight I did ask myself how our Governor did.

You probably have read that the Governor “can count on one hand” the number of endorsements he has done in the last 15 years. This year, he needed two hands.

Off the top of my head tonight, the Governor went 6-4 with WINS for two challengers (Tom Davis, Mike Rose), three open seats (Lee Bright, Tim Scott, Steve Stringer) and one incumbent (Greg Ryberg). His LOSSES were three challengers (Ed Rumsey, Katrina Shealy, Roger Nutt) and one open seat (Scott Singer).

For a Governor that many in the state support (and, yes, I support his fiscal-conservative ideas but have opposed him on things like cigarette tax, seat belts, autism, etc.), I would have expected a better result than my Gamecocks usually do.

Of course, when I look at someone else who has wide popularity in the state and is arguably our “favorite” US Senator, Jim Demint, the results really make me wonder.

Sen. Demint endorsed an open seat (Scott Talley) and a challenger (Katrina Shealy) and lost both. If you go back to the GOP Presidential race (we both supported the same guy – Gov. Mitt Romney), he actually is 0-3 in the 2008 primaries.

How do local voters look past a recommendation from someone who is the “darling” of the state?

Simple…voters want to make up their own mind.

In local races, voters have the time and resources to get to know the candidates and issues. They don’t want “polticians” butting in. They can figure it out themselves.

That’s why I really can count on one hand the primaries I’ve lent my name to: Lt. Governor Andre Bauer and Governor Mitt Romney. In my opinion, statewide races or national races don’t allow the voters the “one-on-one” chance to get to know candidates so MAYBE an endorsement or recommendation from someone can help voters. They’re also “up ballot” races meaning I’m not really telling my community who to pick to represent us locally. I publically stay out of local races and issues (but obviously share my opinion/vote when asked).

So…you tell me (again). When voters go to the polls, do they really care about the “big names” or do they care more about the person who has worked the hardest, shares their values, and whom they feel will do the best job?

SC Club for Growth Endorsement

February 21, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Matt Moore
803-454-1134
matt@SCClubForGrowth.com

SC Club for Growth State Action PAC Endorses Seventeen Legislators for June Primaries

Columbia, SC – Today, the South Carolina Club for Growth State Action PAC endorsed seventeen current South Carolina legislators that are seeking election in the upcoming June 10th primary.

Each of these legislators has shown a continued commitment to limited government and responsible spending, while leading efforts to change South Carolina’s antiquated system of government. All earned a combined grade of “B” or better in the Club’s legislative scorecards and cumulatively represent approximately the top 10% of grades for the entire General Assembly.

South Carolina Club for Growth Executive Director Matt Moore released the following statement on the endorsements:

“On behalf of our membership across the state, I’m proud to announce these endorsements. We believe leadership matters. South Carolina’s future generations will benefit from these legislators leading the charge to reform our state government.

Through the support of hundreds of members around the state, we are hopeful that many more change-oriented legislators will join these reformers at the Statehouse next January. We will be carefully monitoring their re-election efforts. Should credible challengers run against any of them, we will urge our members to contribute generously to these endorsed incumbents.”

SC State Senate:

Legislator – District #, Area, Party
Kevin Bryant – 3rd District, Anderson, Republican
Danny Verdin – 9th District, Laurens, Republican
Mick Mulvaney – 16th District, Lancaster, Republican
Greg Ryberg – 24th District, Aiken, Republican
Larry Grooms – 37th District, Berkeley, Republican
Chip Campsen – 43rd District, Charleston, Republican

SC State House of Representatives:

Legislator – District #, Area, Party
Don Bowen – 8th District, Anderson, Republican
Michael Thompson – 9th District, Anderson, Republican
Jeff Duncan – 15th District, Laurens , Republican
Dwight Loftis – 19th District, Greenville, Republican
Eric Bedingfield – 28th District, Greenville, Republican
Herb Kirsh – 47th District, York, Democrat
Thad Viers – 68th District, Horry, Republican
Nathan Ballentine – 71st District, Lexington, Republican
Nikki Haley – 87th District, Lexington, Republican
Jim Merrill – 99th District, Berkeley, Republican
Chip Limehouse – 110th District, Charleston, Republican

#####

Do endorsements really matter in politics – local, state, national?

From today’s State

“McCain, more than any other candidate, hopes voters factor endorsements into their decision-making.

McCain has been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell and S.C. Senate Majority Leader Glenn McConnell. By one tally, McCain has 48 of 71 Republican lawmakers backing him.”

The article goes on to say that Governor Sanford (who endorsed McCain in 2000) will sit this one out.

All this reminds me of my opinion about endorsements – they may look good on paper but they aren’t going to win the race for you. Maybe I’m wrong?

Does one person’s name make that much difference? Or, is it the candidate himself and his message, abilities, experience and/or passion to serve, that make the difference?

Ever since I became a public servant, I’ve held true to my stance not to endorse candidates in local races. With races at the local level – Mayor, County Council, Town Council, School Board, etc – I believe you, the voter, have the time and resources to follow the race closely and weigh all the candidates. You also have a chance (or should) for one-on-one face time and Q&A sessions with each candidate at local events.

In statewide or national races, you may not have those opportunities. Where candidates aren’t as accessible here locally and there is less of a chance for you to get to know the candidates and their positions, I feel it appropriate for me to assist you with my public support and opinion. In the past I have endorsed Lt. Governor Andre Bauer for his statewide races and most recently Govenor Mitt Romney for his Presidential race.

While I’m in the minority of state policitians supporting Governor Romney, I am pleased to be joined by several conservatives here in the Midlands: Representatives Nikki Haley, Chip Huggins, Ted Pitts and Senator Ronnie Cromer.

Regardless how things end up with the Presidential race, Republicans will “endorse” the same candidate for the General Election. Now how much weight will that carry??

I’d be curious as to your thoughts. Do endorsements matter? Are you more willing to vote for someone because of who’s backing them? If you don’t have the time/resources to vet the candidates (like Presidential), I’m guessing endorsements do make a difference. In local races, I’m thinking they don’t. You’re smart enough (and close enough to the candidates) to form your own opinion.

I think people, not politics matter. Now if you hear your neighbor is supporting a candidate, that’s a whole other type of endorsement in my opinion. One that matters!

The Weekly Rewind – Week of February 25th

Nathan’s News readers are aware that I regularly share a “Week in Review” update which is prepared by legislative staff. It’s straight forward, no spin, not partisan…just the facts.

If you want a more personable read, be sure to read a similar update that I write each week in The New Irmo News. Representative Huggins and I rotate weeks throughout the session so that the entire Irmo/Chapin community can stay informed!

*To read the text of any bill mentioned below, please visit www.scstatehouse.gov and enter the bill number in the search box *

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 28, 2020

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4431, a bill to enact the “SOUTH CAROLINA BUSINESS LICENSE TAX STANDARDIZATION ACT” as a means of: reducing the complexity of complying with the business license taxes imposed by counties and municipalities by bringing statewide uniformity to the deadlines, application forms, and various other parts of the process; enhancing convenience for businesses by allowing them to pay taxes owed in multiple jurisdictions using a one-stop-shopping online portal; and, allowing counties and municipalities to receive the full amounts they are owed for business licenses without subtracting the portion that has been charged in fees by third parties collecting the taxes. The legislation imposes statewide standardization upon many aspects of the business license taxes imposed by counties and municipalities, including: a single timeline for issuing and renewing licenses and imposing penalties; standards for computing taxes based upon the gross income of the business; a uniform business license application established and provided by the Director of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office; a protocol for issuing refunds to businesses; requirements for taxing jurisdictions to make use of the Standardized Business License Class Schedule as recommended by the Municipal Association of South Carolina and adopted by the Director of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office; requirements for the Municipal Association to determine and revise this Standardized Business License Class Schedule every even year using the latest available nationwide Internal Revenue Service statistics for the calculation of profitability of businesses and using the latest business classification codes of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); and, a protocol that allows county and city councils to approve reasonable subclassifications. Provisions are made for a centralized online portal hosted and managed by the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office which businesses may use to pay the various license taxes imposed in multiple jurisdictions. In addition to allowing a payment through the business license tax portal, a taxing jurisdiction shall allow a taxpayer to file and pay its business license tax in person at a location within the taxing jurisdiction, by telephone, or by mail. The legislation imposes a prohibition on a private third-party assessing or collecting business license taxes or requiring businesses to remit confidential tax data on behalf of a taxing jurisdiction. Restrictions are imposed on how a taxing jurisdiction may contract with a third party to assist in the collection of business license taxes. The legislation disallows arrangements where a private sector auditing firm or other third party is paid on a contingency fee or success basis. Enforcement measures are provided which authorize the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs award to civil penalties to taxpayers for violations. The legislation provides an exemption from business license taxes for charitable organizations that covers their nonprofit activities.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4761, a bill providing for “SOUTH CAROLINA READ TO SUCCEED ACT” ENHANCEMENTS that emphasize early intervention for students who are having difficulty learning to read so that they can receive needed instruction before reaching the time when a low score on a literacy assessment can require a student to repeat the third grade. Under the legislation, the State Board of Education is charged with approving no more than five reliable and valid early literacy and numeracy screening assessment instruments for selection and use by school districts in kindergarten through third grade. Assessments must be given at the beginning of the school year. For students who need additional assistance, the screening will also occur during the middle and end of the school year. Assessment results must be reported to the State Department of Education which is responsible for monitoring student progress. Read to Succeed Act provisions are revised to require that districts provide appropriate in-class intervention and at least thirty minutes of supplemental intervention by certified teachers who have a literacy add on endorsement until all students are at grade level. School districts must offer a summer reading camp as intervention for any student enrolled in the first or second grade who is substantially not demonstrating proficiency in reading, based upon the universal screening process. The legislation replaces the current “Not Met 1” benchmark for student retention, and provides, instead that a student must be retained in the third grade if the student fails to demonstrate reading proficiency at the end of the third grade as indicated by scoring at the lowest achievement level on the state summative English/language arts assessment which indicates that the student needs substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level. Districts are encouraged to develop policies for intensive support and retention of students in kindergarten through second grade if it is determined to be in the student’s best interest. The reading portfolio exemption from retention is strengthened. When exemptions from retention are granted because of appeals by students’ parents or guardians, school districts are required to report on the number of appeals made, the number granted, and the outcome of the students whose appeals are successful. More specific job duties and position requirements are established for reading coaches. The State Department of Education must screen and approve reading coaches for districts where more than one-third of third grade students score at the lowest achievement level on the state English/language arts assessment. Early childhood, elementary, and special education teacher candidates must pass a test on reading instruction and intervention before they can be certified. The Commission on Higher Education and the Learning Disorders Taskforce are charged with examining the effectiveness of teacher education programs with regard to diagnosing and assisting students with reading difficulties.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3328, a bill revising SCHOOL LUNCH provisions. The legislation provides that students eligible for free and reduced meal benefits must be offered the same federally reimbursable meal as students not eligible for these federal free and reduced meal provisions. Federally reimbursable meals must be offered even if the student owes money for previous meals. Schools that offer food and beverages separate from federally reimbursable meals may not allow students to accrue a balance when purchasing items, and only may accept cash payment or allow funds to be electronically drawn from a prepaid balance. A school or school district may not invoke penalties for failing to pay for a school lunch, such as prohibiting students from attending field trips, participating in graduation or other recognition ceremonies, or attending other academic-related activities. The State Department of Education is charged with developing and providing a model policy and template to each school district regarding the collection of school meal debt.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4765, a bill imposing LIMITATIONS ON COLLECTING SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAM DEBTS. The legislation prohibits a public school or school district from using a debt collection service to collect debts owed on a school lunch or breakfast account of a student. A public school or school district may not assess or collect any interest, fees, or other such monetary penalties for outstanding debts on student school lunch or breakfast accounts.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4758, a bill providing authority for ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION as a means of addressing current teacher shortages. Under the legislation, educator preparation programs housed within an institution of higher education may submit a separate and distinct educator preparation program for alternative preparation to the State Board of Education for approval. The board shall promulgate regulations concerning the granting of approval, cyclical review, and revocation of approval for alternative educator preparation programs. The State Department of Education is charged with providing each college of education and state-approved educator preparation program with information evaluating the performance its graduates on a yearly basis so that this information may be used to improve education services.

The Weekly Rewind – March 8th

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The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3759, the “SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATION, CAREER OPPORTUNITY, AND ACCESS FOR ALL ACT”. The legislation makes comprehensive revisions that are offered as a means of ensuring that the state’s public school students receive the training needed to meet 21st century demands. New emphasis is placed on mathematics and technology that includes a requirement for each public high school in the state to offer at least one rigorous, standards based computer science course. Enhancements are made to the SC Read to Succeed Initiative that focuses on crucial literacy skills. Provisions are made to afford public school students a smoother transition into higher education and workforce opportunities. These include expanded dual enrollment programs and improved access to state scholarship funding to cover training costs. The legislation raises the minimum teacher salary statewide and offers an array of incentives geared towards attracting individuals to teaching and retaining those professionals in the classroom. Some of the incentives focus on encouraging teachers to pursue their careers in schools that are failing to meet goals for academic performance and in areas of the state that are experiencing the greatest economic distress. Enhanced accountability provisions are included to direct assistance to schools that are struggling academically and to transform or close chronically underperforming schools. A school district consolidation protocol is established for merging less populous districts that are failing to meet standards for student performance. Local school board members are subjected to ethics provisions. A Special Council on Revitalizing Education is created to advise policy makers on ways to improve collaboration among state agencies and institutions and what steps should be taken to ensure that the state’s public education system is emphasizing skills demanded in the workplace.

Goals and Governance

The State of South Carolina establishes an overall statewide workforce readiness goal of at least sixty percent of all working age South Carolinians having a post secondary degree or recognized industry credentials before the year 2030. This goal is consistent with all students graduating and having the knowledge, skills, and characteristics contained in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.

A “Student Bill of Rights” is established to enumerate basic expectations including: students should expect that the General Assembly, Governor, State Superintendent of Education, State Board of Education, local school boards, local superintendents, principals, teachers, and parents to focus on improving education, and creating a system that puts them first; students should feel safe and secure in school; students should have educational choice; and the ability to challenge unfair treatment. These provisions do not create or imply a private cause of action for a violation.

A “Teacher Bill of Rights” is established to enumerate those things that all certified public school teachers in South Carolina should be able to expect. These include: working in an environment conducive to learning; the inclusion of their discretion with regard to disciplinary and instructional decisions; freedom from frivolous lawsuits, planning time; a competitive salary; no unnecessary paperwork; support from school administration. These provisions do not create or imply a private cause of action for a violation.

Provisions are made for the South Carolina Teacher of the Year and a public school student appointed by the Governor to serve as non-voting advisory members of the State Board of Education.

Special Council on Revitalizing Education

The legislation establishes within the Office of the Governor the Special Council on Revitalizing Education (SCORE) which is created to: (1) monitor the state education and workforce pipeline to continually determine the education and training levels required by the state’s employers; (2) identify and recommend improvements regarding efficiency and cooperation of agencies and programs throughout the education and workforce pipeline; and (3) report findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on a continuous basis.

The Governor serves as the chairman of the ten-member council. The Governor may, however, delegate the position of chairman and SCORE duties to the Lieutenant Governor. The other council members are appointed to five-year terms, with SCORE being composed of: (a) three members appointed by the Governor; (b) one member appointed by the Speaker of the House; (c) one member appointed by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; (d) one member appointed by the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee; (e) one member appointed by the President of the Senate; (f) one member appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; and (g) one member appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Council members may not concurrently serve as a member of the General Assembly. Appointed members must have a background in early childhood education, K 12 education, higher education, business, workforce development, or economic development. Two council members, one from the appointees allotted the House of Representatives and the other from the appointees allotted the Senate, must be current or retired highly effective teachers. A member of the council may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The Governor shall hire an executive director who must possess a background in at least one of the following: early childhood education, K 12 education, higher education, business, workforce development, or economic development.

Before October 1, 2021, the council shall establish a series of benchmarks that must include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) access to quality early learning, as determined by the council, including the number of three and four year old children in quality early learning settings;
(2) third grade reading proficiency, including the percentage of third grade students who score ‘Meets’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations’ on the SC Ready assessment, or its successor;
(3) eighth grade mathematics, including the percentage of eighth grade students who score ‘Meets’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations’ on the SC Ready assessment, or its successor;
(4) high school graduation rates, including the percentages of students who graduated in four and five years;
(5) youth nonparticipation, including the percentage of South Carolina residents between sixteen and eighteen years of age who are not going to school on the secondary level or in adult education, not in the military, or not otherwise working;
(6) post high school enrollment, including the percentage of South Carolina high school graduates who are in postsecondary education the semester after graduation from high school or are gainfully employed; and
(7) post high school education attainment, including the percentage of South Carolina residents ages twenty two through sixty five who have completed a two or four year degree, or have received a nationally recognized certification as determined by the Department of Commerce.

With assistance and consultation from the Department of Administration, the council is charged with creating and maintaining a publicly accessible website that reports the benchmark information, explains the benchmarks, and provides an annual update to show the state’s progress toward meeting each goal.

Beginning in 2021, the council is required to make an annual comprehensive report to the Governor and General Assembly that specifically identifies areas within the education and workforce pipeline where state agencies and other publically funded entities are failing to meet the benchmarks. The council shall provide recommendations regarding ways that state and local efforts can be improved, ways that collaboration and cooperation among state and local agencies and resources can be increased, and efforts underway or being considered in other states that address the noted areas of concern. The council also shall recommend legislation it considers necessary.

Enhancements to Academic Rigor to Improve Student Preparation

Computer Science and Mathematics Coursework and Incentives

The State Board of Education is charged with conducting, at least every five years, a cyclical review of grade appropriate standards for computer science, computational thinking, and computer coding for grades kindergarten through grade twelve.

No later than the beginning of the 2020 2021 School Year, each public high school and public charter high school must offer at least one rigorous, standards based computer science course. The course is to be made available in a traditional classroom setting, in a dual enrollment course, blended learning environment, online based, or other technology based format tailored to meet the needs of each participating student.

Beginning in the 2020 2021 School Year, the Department of Education shall:

(1) employ one experienced full time employee whose sole responsibility is to coordinate and lead the South Carolina Computer Science Education Initiative;
(2) support K 12 academic and computer science teachers in designing interdisciplinary, project based instruction and assignments that engage students in applying literacy, math, and computational thinking skills to solve problems;
(3) design career pathways that connect students to postsecondary programs, degrees, or postsecondary credentials in such high demand career fields as cybersecurity, information systems, informatics, graphic design, computer engineering, and software development;
(4) offer professional development and teacher endorsements to new teachers who will teach computer science;
(5) provide information and materials which identify emerging career opportunities in computer science and related fields to parents, students, teachers, and guidance counselors; and
(6) assist districts in developing partnerships with business, industry, higher education, and communities to provide afterschool and extracurricular activities that engage students in computer science.

By August 1, 2021, the State Department of Education shall develop a technology plan that addresses wireless Internet access for all public schools and must provide a report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.


Statewide Assessment Program Revisions

The legislation removes summative assessments not required by federal accountability law. This includes eliminating the eighth grade science assessment, all grades 3-8 social studies assessments, and the United States History end-of-course assessment.


Early Childhood

The Office of First Steps and the State Department of Education (SDE) must provide a report to the General Assembly regarding how to increase the number of children attending state-funded four-year-old kindergarten programs.

Read to Succeed Initiative Enhancements

The State Board of Education is charged with approving no more than five reliable and valid early literacy and numeracy screening assessment instruments for selection and use by school districts in kindergarten through third grade.

Assessments must be given at the beginning of the school year. For students who need additional assistance, the screening will also occur during the middle and end of the school year. Assessment results must be reported to the State Department of Education which is responsible for monitoring student progress.

Read to Succeed are revised to require that districts provide appropriate in-class intervention until all students are at grade level.

Students are to be retained if their SC Ready scores are at the “Does Not Meet” level. This is more rigorous than the current “Not Met 1” level.

The reading portfolio exemption for retention is strengthened.
When exemptions from retention are granted because of appeals by students’ parents or guardians, school districts are required to report on the number of appeals made, the number granted, and the outcome of the students whose appeals are successful.

More specific job duties and position requirements are established for reading coaches.

The State Department of Education must screen and approve reading coaches for districts where more than one-third of the students score at the lowest achievement level.

Early childhood, elementary, and special education teachers must pass a test regarding reading instruction before they can be certified.

Professional development required for compliance with Read to Succeed must be offered at no cost by the school districts.

The Commission on Higher Education and the Learning Disorders Taskforce are charged with examining the effectiveness of teacher education programs in regard to diagnosing and assisting students with reading difficulties.


Transition into Higher Education and Workforce Opportunities

The legislation provides for an expansion of dual enrollment opportunities so that students who want to go to college already have at least one year of college credit by creating a uniform, statewide credit articulation agreement between K-12 and higher education. The Advisory Committee on Academic Programs is required to develop a statewide dual enrollment articulation agreement that will replace all locally created agreements between K-12 and higher education.

Students desiring an Education Lottery scholarship must, in addition to existing requirements, take a math and English course during their senior year of high school to maintain these skills prior to entering college.

The legislation emphasizes an accountability system that should let parents know if schools are successful in preparing students for eventual success in college or on the job. To further this effort, the State Department of Education must continuously monitor student progress in grades K-12, and provide parents and students with lexile and quantile scores derived from assessments. In addition to using Lexile and Quantile scores, high school equivalency assessment thresholds may also serve as common admission scores to technical colleges. A test in an English/language arts and mathematics course may be used to satisfy the requirement. A test for every course is not required.

The legislation revises and updates the Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA). The State Department of Education, the Technical College System, the Commission on Higher Education, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Employment and Workforce must collaborate to ensure that workforce needs are aligned with career pathways and K-12 curriculum.

High schools or career centers must have a minimum of three career pathways, with at least one pathway in a high-skill, high-demand area. Pathways must be reviewed every three years and updated as needed. School districts must coordinate with each other to ensure student access to multiple pathways. Upon Department approval of bus routes, districts may provide transportation for students.

The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education (SBTCE) must establish, and technical colleges must recognize, common admission scores. (Scores may be differentiated for certain programs of study.) Students who do not meet the minimum admission score should be encouraged to enter a noncredit program that awards a national recognized business or industry credential. Education Lottery Tuition Assistance is available for individuals who enroll in a noncredit, credential awarding program provided they enroll within seven years of the first time they entered the ninth grade.


Incentives for Teachers and Educator Development and Satisfaction

The state’s minimum teacher salary is increased to thirty five thousand dollars.

The legislation provides that no tuition may be charged for a period of four school years by any state supported college or university or any state supported vocational or technical school for children of full time certified classroom teachers with at least five years of teaching service who are employed in schools that have an absolute rating of unsatisfactory for at least three of the previous four years. The teacher must serve as a full time classroom teacher during the time the child is receiving the tuition free higher education. The benefit is retained even if the school’s academic performance improves.

An income tax credit is established that covers all of the property taxes paid for five years on a residence for a K-12 public school teacher who lives and teaches is a county designated as a Tier IV economically distressed county.

In order to better understand the demands of the 21st century workplace, public school teachers who work in grades 6-12 are encouraged to become interns for up to 80 hours per year. Employers who hire teachers for these summer internships are eligible for a $2,000 tax credit for each teacher they employee.

The board of trustees of a local school district may authorize the daily mileage reimbursement of a teacher who must travel more than twenty five miles each way between home and school. This reimbursement may not exceed the existing federal rate.

Local school boards of trustees may establish policies allowing teachers to enroll their children in the schools where they teach regardless of the student’s zoned area of attendance, and if space is available at the receiving school.

Each classroom teacher and full time librarian is entitled to at least a thirty minute daily planning period free from the instruction and supervision of students. Each school district may set flexible or rotating schedules for the implementation of this duty free planning period. Implementation may not, however, result in a lengthened school day.

The legislation includes provisions for colleges and universities to create alternative teacher preparation programs that are not nationally accredited. Such programs must, however, provide specifically mandated evidence of effectiveness.

The State Board of Education must review educator preparation programs at least once every five years.
The SDE must provide each teacher preparation program with information regarding the performance of its graduates. The programs are required to protect the confidentiality of the data, and the information is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

To provide for accountability in teacher preparation programs, both traditional and alternative, the legislation creates the South Carolina Teacher Preparation Report Card to examine the number of students completing the program, the performance of teacher candidates on basic skills examinations, and the effectiveness of the programs’ graduates in the classroom setting.

The existing teacher satisfaction survey currently administered is now statutorily required. Results must be complied, analyzed, and reported for each school and district. This data should be shared with policy makers on a yearly basis, and the Department will publish those results on its website.


Enhanced Accountability

Assistance for students in underperforming schools

The legislation reinforces accountability act provisions regarding assistance for struggling schools or districts.
Local school boards with below average or unsatisfactory performance records are required to establish renewal plans that must be approved by the State Board of Education. These plans must include professional growth plans for teachers and principals. A report on the assistance provided to the schools must be provided to the General Assembly on a yearly basis. Stakeholder groups that include mental health, social services, and law enforcement must be asked for input into renewal plans.

When a school receives an overall rating of unsatisfactory for three out of four years, the school is considered to be ‘chronically underperforming’ and one of the following must occur:
(1) the school will be reconstituted immediately after the end of the school year in which the annual report is published; and:
(a) the State Superintendent shall make all personnel decisions for the reconstituted school and shall have the authority to determine whether to terminate the principal, faculty, and staff;
(b) the State Superintendent of Education shall hire the new principal and staff for the reconstituted school if necessary; and
(c) the department shall contract with a public or nonprofit entity that has a proven record of success in working with underperforming schools and districts. The entity shall use research based strategies to assist schools with their operations and oversee the administration of the school until the overall rating of the school improves; provided, if the overall rating does not improve within three years then the school either must be restarted under the management of a high performing charter management organization selected by the State Superintendent of Education or must be governed by the South Carolina Transformation School District, and all state, local and federal funds generated by the students must follow the students to the charter management organization or to the South Carolina Transformation School District;
(2) the school must be closed and restarted under the management of an existing charter school authorizer or a nonprofit educational management organization selected by the State Superintendent; provided, if the school is a Title I school, the Department of Education will award competitive grants as authorized under federal law to support these new schools and all state, local and federal funds generated by the students follow the students to the charter school authorizer or to the educational management organization. The authorizer or management organization has the authority to terminate any and all employees of the school and hire employees at its discretion; or
(3) the school must be closed and its students must be transferred to higher performing schools in the district.

The South Carolina Transformation School District is established as part of State Department of Education to operate and manage unsatisfactory schools.

The Superintendent of Education is directed to utilize lower child to teacher ratios as a strategy to assist chronically unsatisfactory schools.

The legislation establishes a school district consolidation protocol which provides that, before August 1, 2023, local school districts whose kindergarten through grade twelve student population is less than one thousand, and where greater than fifty percent of the students attend schools whose report card ratings are below average or unsatisfactory, shall be merged with a district in the same county in which it is located.

School Board Ethics Provisions

The State Board of Education must adopt a model code of ethics that shall be adopted by local districts by July 1, 2020.

A person may not serve on a local school board if a family member is employed by the district as a superintendent, principal, assistant principal, or member of the district administrative staff. This requirement may be waived for districts with a student population under 3,000.

School board members may not their position for personal or family advantage. Expectations for board members are codified.

The State Ethics Act, including the requirement to file a statement of economic interest, is applied to local board members.

Local school boards must adopt an annual training programs for members that includes instruction on school law, ethics, school finance, nepotism, board relations, and conflicts of interest. Completion of the training must be reported to, and retained by the State Department of Education.

In addition to other statutory authority relating to the removal of officers, the Governor may remove a member of a school district board of trustees in a case involving fraud, misappropriation of funds, nepotism, violation of election or procurement laws, or a combination of these.

A protocol is established that allows board members to be removed by the Governor if the district loses accreditation for school governance reasons.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Federal Programs and Grants

The Legislative Audit Council is directed to study publish a report by August 1, 2020, identifying and detailing federal funding streams for programs and grants in elementary and secondary education in this state in total and breaking out the cost of overhead, compliance, and reporting incurred by the State Department of Education, school districts, and local schools.

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